Interview: Katie Cassidy

It would seem that The CW Network is a good luck charm for actress Katie Cassidy. She’s made appearances on series such as Gossip Girl and Melrose Place.

She became a household name as Ruby on the series Supernatural which is currently in its eleventh season.

Currently, she stars in the hit series Arrow as Laurel Lance/ Black Canary. Over the past several seasons, her character has been through a lot, but now she gets to join the fight with Team Arrow.

We sit down with Katie to talk about her character’s journey so far, what it was like to put on the Black Canary costume for the first time and her thoughts about a Birds of Prey team up.

Pop Culture Principle - Laurel Lance has definitely had her ups and downs in the series so far. As an actor, how have you enjoyed playing a character that has so many layers?

Katie Cassidy – Honestly, it’s been everything and more. The way I work as an actor, I’ll do script analysis and come up with a backstory and try to make the script and character as legitimate as possible. The thing that is so brilliant about Laurel, the writers and our producers, is that only a part of me had to fill in the backstory. Laurel and her arc, journey and evolution into becoming the Black Canary to me was very legitimate. You didn’t’ see here wake up one day, jump out there in a suit and be a professional.

I feel like the character and myself as an actor, I feel like it was earned and it was honest and it was true. I was seriously going through training while Laurel was going through training when I wasn’t on set. I was waking up at five in the morning and seeing my trainer for an hour before I would go to set to work for fourteen hours or whatever it might be.

With how busy our schedule is, just knowing and staying focused, it was definitely hard work, but I believe hard work really pays off. It’s been a dream to be a part of such a wonderful production and story and to get to play this character; I couldn’t be happier.

Pop Culture Principle – This season, Laurel is really coming into her own on the series. She no longer is just the “girlfriend” or love interest on the show. Would you agree with that?

Katie Cassidy – Absolutely! It’s funny because if you look at Seasons 1 and 2, I was the girlfriend or love interest, but it’s been Oliver and Laurel’s backstory and it is in the comics. I definitely think that it’s been so awesome and so fulfilling to be the female lead of a show and not be just the love interest.

Laurel has her own story, situation and relationships and she is her own individual aside from just being the ex-girlfriend or the ex-lover. It feels a little bit like an equality which is nice.

Pop Culture Principle – When you found out you would finally become the Black Canary and truly apart of Team Arrow, how excited were you to finally be a part of the serious action?

Katie Cassidy – Originally, I had known it was always going to happen, but I just didn’t know when. Before I signed on to the project, they told me this would be the evolution of the character and it was a double hander. I just had faith in the writers and producers and trusted them and I was just thinking let’s just see what happens.

Honestly, I feel so lucky because they have given my character so much to do and I feel there is so much more for her to do. As hard as Season 2 was emotionally, as an actor, it was challenging, intriguing and very interesting to go through that.

When they told me at the end of Season 2 that it was going to happen, of course I was excited. I remember when I put on the jacket, as corny as it might sound; I had tears in my eyes because I was so genuinely excited. I was totally geeking out over it and thinking I was such a nerd, but I love it!

Pop Culture Principle – How much input were you given in the designing of the Black Canary costume?

Katie Cassidy – Maya Mani, our costume designer is wonderful, but she definitely let me have my input. I have a vision of the character, I also have the comic books and I also considered that since we are shooting in Vancouver, I didn’t want to freeze.

There is a fishnet type of body suit that I wear under the jacket which was my idea and we went with it. With the gloves, I thought it would be cool to have the top of them with the fishnet material and we went with that. With the mask, it was interesting because I am very particular and specific about certain things. We did a test with four different looks of what Black Canary would look like.

The first test that we did is the one that we went with which was my vision and Danielle Fowler’s who is our key make-up artist on the show and she is also amazing. So the two of us together, we came up with that dark vamp look that I wanted to do and I wanted to have dramatic eyes and leave the black around the mask.

Honestly, when we tested the black behind the mask like every other character, because the costume and the suit itself is modern and buttoned up and that along with the black behind the mask, it made it look a bit more masculine.

I was thinking there has to be a little bit of femininity to it and when we lost the black behind the eyes and I did a red vamp lip and like a vamp nail polish with my lashes that are a little out of control, it brought that pretty, sexy and interesting part to her. I am so glad that’s the look we went with because I have to wear that often and you want to feel comfortable.

Pop Culture Principle – When Sara was first brought back, she wasn’t really Sara but with the help of Constantine, she was able to get her soul back. Initially, do you think Laurel thought she may have made a huge mistake or she truly believed it was the right thing to do?

Katie Cassidy – I do think she thought it was the right thing to do and I think she kept having to convince herself. She wanted to believe it and it’s her sister, so it was tough. It was something that I struggled with a little bit as an actor because I didn’t know what the writers were going to write and what was going to happen. In television, you never know what is going to happen so again, I had to believe in and have faith that the writers would make the right decisions.

Pop Culture Principle – Will we get to see the Black Canary and White Canary team up on the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow series or even Arrow?

Katie Cassidy – I certainly hope so and I am actually in the pilot for Legends of Tomorrow. We just shot a giant crossover that is going to be massive and I think all of the fans, whether it is for Arrow, The Flash or new Legends fans, their minds will be blown away.

It was a lot of work and it is crazy doing a crossover episode, but it is so gratifying and so worth it and as strenuous and as hard as it might be with scheduling and the number of actors, it’s a total payoff. So, my going over to Legends, you’ll see, it’s freaking amazing the stuff that we shot, but I can’t tell you. I think the fans are going to get really excited!

Pop Culture Principle – Now that we have Laurel as the Black Canary and Katana and The Huntress are out there somewhere in the universe, could we possibly see the Birds of Prey at some point down the road?

Katie Cassidy – I certainly hope so! Don’t you think it should be its own show starring me of course! Maybe I should just put that out in the universe! It would be cool for sure and I am totally for the modern day woman and think it would be cool to have kickass women on a show. Who knows, if not, I definitely think there will be an episode or a tribute, but there should be something absolutely!

We would like to thank Katie Cassidy for taking time out of her very busy schedule to talk with us. You can catch brand new episodes of Arrow every Wednesday night at 8/7c on The CW. If you would like to keep up with Katie's latest news and project, you can follow her via her official Twitter account here and you can also visit her fashion and lifestyle blog TomBoy KC here.

Photos courtesy of Dean Buscher/Jordon Nuttall/Cate Cameron/Diyah Pera /The CW**

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